2004 Lancaster Estate Nicole's Vineyard, USA, Sonoma, Alexander Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2004
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A

This is a proprietary red Bordeaux blend from Sonoma.  David Ramey was the consulting winemaker.  At age 16, this is drinking beautifully.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose show cassis, cherries, slight black olives, chocolate and slight spice.  Medium to full bodied.  It is delicious.  Big ripe fruit but also some complexity.  Firm tannins.  Nice depth.  Mostly black cherry fruit but some cassis.  Long finish.  I tasted this with a bunch of Sonoma Cabs, so this may have benefited from being a bit different.  Still, is drinking at peak not but should be at this level for at lea

2014 Hawkes Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley, USA, California, Sonoma, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$92.00USD

Purple/ruby in color.  The nose is tight at first but opens with some air.  Cassis and dust.  On the palate, this is more cherry cough drops with some underlying charred wood.  Short finish.  This might be in a bit of a dumb phase as it kept opening up over the evening.  If drinking soon, a three hour (or more) decant would help.  It should hit maturity in another five to seven years and be good for another ten after that.  A nice wine with roasted veggies or meats.  

2016 Crescere Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Sonoma, Alexander Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$200.00USD

Another wine from this new producer.  Philippe Melka is the winemaker.  purple in color, opaque and bright.  More of a claret style of Cab than a fruit bomb.  The nose has cassis, graphite, rosemary and slight tobacco.  On the palate, there is cassis, camphor with a slight sour cherry note that is interesting.  Nice acidity.  Good finish.  This seems a bit more restrained and in need of air/time.  It should get better with about five to seven years of cellaring and then drink well for another seven to ten years.  It will work with a wide range of food.  

 

2017 Ridge Geyserville, USA, California, Sonoma, Alexander Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$30.00USD

This was meeting an old friend.  I used to drink this wine quite a bit but had not had it for quite some time.  It just sort of fell out of the rotation for no particular reason and that is a shame.  It is still top notch.  A blend of 68% Zinfandel, 18% Carignan, 12% Petite Sirah and 2% Alicante Bouschet, this is a wine that drinks well young or old but the profile will change depending on which varietals are showing more at that time.  Purple in color with a ruby rim.  The nose is nice with black cherries, slight black raspberries herbal notes and pepper.  Medium to full bodied.  On the pa

2012 Valdez Family Winery Zinfandel St. Peter's Church Vineyard, USA, California, Sonoma, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
91
Grade: 

Ulises Valvez was one of the great American success stories in the wine world.  An immigrant to this country, he built his vineyard and winery into a top notch winery.  Sadly, he passed away a couple of years ago at far too young of an age.  His winery carries on.  This is a Zinfandel blend that also has 17% Peite Sirah and 5% Grenache.  The vineyard was originally planted in 1888 and hand farmed by Ulises Valdez since 1988.  There are some very old vines.  Purple in color.  The nose has black cherries, some raspberries, a bit of spice and bramble.  Nice texture.  Juicy acidity.  There is s

2013 Alexander Valley Vineyards Cyrus, USA, California, Sonoma, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$46.00USD

Purple in color.  The nose has nice cassis, dust, cherries and slight green bell pepper.  On the palate, this has medium tannins.  Good cassis fruit over a dry earthiness.  Light tannins.  The bell pepper is only on the nose.  This has some complexity at this point.  Good finish.  Not uber ripe but certainly not under ripe either.  Drinking well, it may possibly still improve with further cellaring.  Will work better with bigger or spicy foods but is ok on its own.  64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc, 7% Merlot, 5% Malbec, 4% Petit Verdot

2012 Alexander Valley Vineyards Cyrus, USA, California, Sonoma, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A

76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 3% Petite Verdot, 2% Malbec.  Purple in color, slight ruby at the rim.  The nose is dusty and warm with cassis and spice.  Soft texture.  Good acidity.  Nice cassis fruit with an underlying earthiness.  Some plums on the finish.  Nicely layered, it unwinds in the glass.  It seems open but then keeps on opening more.  Still some upside here.  

2013 Treasure Hunter Wines Petite Sirah The Lion Tamer, USA, California, Sonoma, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-

This is really drinking well right now.  Purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, underlying graphite and slight black pepper.  On the palate, there is nice black raspberry fruit.  Good texture.  Plenty of depth.  Still drinking on the young side of maturity.  Medium tannins.  Good acidity.  Worked well with food.  Not a monster wine but plenty of fruit and delicious.  Still some development to go and possible upside.  

2015 Simi Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-

Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has cassis, cedar and char.  On the palate, cassis and tarragon which is nice.  Medium bodied.  Some tannins.  This has some depth and complexity.  This drinks very well right now and would work with a wide variety of foods.  This retails for around $20 and sometimes less making this a great value in California Cabernet.  I would drink in the next few years but it should last five more if well stored.  

2015 Ravenswood Zinfandel Big River, USA, California, Sonoma, Alexander Valley

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A

This is 100% Zinfandel from a vineyard first planted in 1893!  The vineyard is above the fog line and planted on volcanic and red clay soils.  15% Alcohol but not noticeable.  Beautiful color; a sort of magenta and ruby, clear and bright.  The nose is great.  Earthy and deep with black raspberries, black cherries, a bit of cinnamon and spice.  On the palate this is sweet black cherry fruit.  Some might call this jammy, but to me that implies a lack of precision which this wine has.  Earth and deep.  It has a complexity that is intriguing even at this young age.  Certainly the most complex o

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